Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Vision of Augmented Reality



Where are we headed with augmented reality? This short film by Keiichi Matsuda presents an unsettling vision of a possible future. The film superimposes digital animations over a mundane live action video showing a person's point of view as they ride a bus and shop for food. (Link to Vimeo)

Apps address us as personal assistants. Rewards and bonuses tally up like in a video game. Ads and offers leap out from products. Guidelines appear on sidewalks. The person interacts with this hybrid reality by using voice and hand gestures.


At the website Hyper Reality, Mr. Matsuda says: "Our physical and virtual realities are becoming increasingly intertwined. Technologies such as VR, augmented reality, wearables, and the internet of things are pointing to a world where technology will envelop every aspect of our lives. It will be the glue between every interaction and experience, offering amazing possibilities, while also controlling the way we understand the world. Hyper-Reality attempts to explore this exciting but dangerous trajectory. It was crowdfunded, and shot on location in MedellĂ­n, Colombia."
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via Cartoon Brew

14 comments:

Mel Gibsokarton said...

It's depressing if anything

Eugene Arenhaus said...

Looks like unnecessary visual clutter, if anything. The same stuff could be delivered in a far less intrusive way... of course, then it could start an arms race between advertisers trying to get noticed. But even then, a lot of these overlays are simply not needed or useful.

It's more interesting to ponder this: if this type of display went mainstream, how many people would opt to turn the actual reality off and only see the overlays?

Celia said...

Ugh!

Allen Garns said...

Fascinating! I trust that as technology progresses, designers will find a more elegant way for us to interface with it. I wonder what all this is doing to our need/ability to remember, to make choices, to slow down and ponder and think. I also wonder: as we continue to become more and more enmeshed with technology, will the slow, ponderous craft of making a painting with traditional materials become less or more appreciated.

Vladimir Venkov said...

Beside the fact that I work in the vfx industry I find this quite horrible...

Sesco said...

I wonder if American culture will ever adopt a different model of bringing products and services to the attention of the buying public than advertising? Or perhaps advertising is just an inferior word for bringing innovation to the public's attention for its consumption? Instead of geared ads on the internet or TV, subscription services eliminate the advertising; but many of us don't want to pay to eliminate the intrusion. I wish there were some other model for staying abreast of innovation, in products and services, that was so elegant, logical, and inexpensive, that we could do away with advertising. Those paying for advertising do so because it works. Just like voting for President as an ill-informed electorate, buying things based upon advertising sometimes gets you what you deserve. Most advertising is targeting the youthful, because they (a) wish to be inclusive, and (b) have not had time to appreciate the benefits of silence. I'll assume the lady in the vimeo was wearing glasses that allowed all of the virtual advertising to be seen. I turn off my TV, she could possibly remove her glasses. The hope is that we all have some remaining freedom to do so by the time that 'utopia' arrives.

Maywyn Studio said...

Don't erase loyalty points.

David King said...

I'll pass. One of the reasons I'm moving to the country as soon as I retire is to get away from all this tech craziness. I'll happily die as an old curmudgeon telling people where they can stick their wearable tech and VR headsets. Give me nature and the real world, it beats this artificial digital junk every time. I don't even own a smart phone.

Laura G. Young said...

Thanks for sharing! As someone who has (in a best-case scenario) six decades or so ahead of me, I can totally see this tech becoming socially accepted. That being said, I don't think it'll appear as jarring/clunky as this very clever film makes it out to be. As for art: imagine, if you will, the ability to have an exact, hyper-def copy of any painting in the world on your wall that you could study at your leisure -- with the ability to zoom, flip it around to examine the back, or wilder still, virtually converse with the artist or an historical imagining of them. And if you ran out of room for your "collection", you could simply swipe your hand and replace it with another one. Or how about a traditional non-virtual painting that can be enhanced so the viewer could seemingly step inside it, a' la Mary Poppins or the Dawn Treader? It's going to be an awesome yet challenging ride for us creatives, methinks...

Richard Last said...

I find this fascinating, partly useful but mostly hideous - like descending into a techno- Hades.
David King - I know what you mean, probably going to do the same. However I have doubts we'll be able to avoid all the tech - delivery drones and all their noise will be buzzing their way over country fields as well....sigh.

Laura G.. Yes, I guess the design of such AR views can be made more artful, and some will do so, however I think the simple fact that the history of advertising by global companies prove that they always go for the cheapest-in-your-face-look available. They will control and hugely influence this new medium as they have newspapers, radio, tv (and now the net with pop-up adds, auto-starting videos and click-bait etc.
Re the art on the wall? Sounds great, I really like that one, but what about copyright infringements and other corporate claims?

Richard Last said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard Last said...

On a similar note but much more of an exciting thing for artists, Google has 'Tilt Brush'
http://www.tiltbrush.com/

James Gurney said...

Richard, thanks for the link to that video about Tilt Brush. I was aware of the possibility of painting in 3D VR, and that was an nice presentation of it. It might be fun to play with, but I kind of enjoy the process of translating 3D space to a 2D sketchbook. A lifetime of joyful challenge right there.

Richard and Mel, I agree that the video on the post is a depressing view of techno Hades. But I'm glad the filmmakers made it. It's good to have a counterbalance to the rosy corporate marketing of popup augmented reality.

Laura and Eugen. I also wonder: Will an ad-infused world be as jarring and clunky as they show here? As you say, probably not, especially if ad blockers can keep up with the arms race of advertisers trying to get our attention. On the other hand, just walking through Times Square as it is now makes you wonder how high our threshold will become for being attracted to a super-saturated environment.

David, I share your feelings, and I think one inevitable consequence of such technology is a push back in the other direction. Any cyberpunk future should include a countervailing Return to Fundamentals movement.

Bil Hardenberger said...

While I certainly wouldn't want this type of "enhancement" in my daily life, I can see some applications where this could be amazing, the military and law enforcement to name a few.